Friday, June 24, 2011

Ohio GOP: "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"

Columbus - Ohio Republican Party Chairman Kevin DeWine released the following statement in response to Vice President Joe Biden's Saturday night Columbus fundraiser: 

"If Barack Obama and Joe Biden paid as much attention to filling job rolls as they did their campaign coffers, Ohio's economy would be in much better shape," DeWine said.

"Since the beginning of this year, the thirty-five campaign fundraisers Barack Obama and Joe Biden have headlined show the nation's workforce and Ohio's unemployed, that the only jobs they care about saving are their own.  The Vice President should heed the advice of his own party's senate leader and skip the Ohio Democratic Party fundraiser on Saturday night until he can point to concrete progress on a debt limit agreement."

Background Information:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: There Should Be "No - No Vacation" Until Debt Ceiling Negotiations are Settled.  "SEN. HARRY REID:'I have one big complaint. And that is, they shouldn`t be taking breaks. They should be meeting every week, multiple times each week. And all of these congressional recesses, that should have no bearing. Our country is at a very important time in the history of our country. We must reduce our debt. We must increase the debt limit. And there`s no -- no vacation during this period of time. We have got to move forward.'"  (Sen. Harry Reid in Interview with Jim Lehrer, PBS' The NewsHour, 6/17/11)

Democrats Are Divided on How to Address the Nation's Finances

WaPo's Dana Milbank: "Obama is Almost Sticking It to the Left."  Dana Milbank:  "But what I don`t understand here is it does seem that Obama is almost sticking it to the left here, almost like it`s some humiliation here. And it`s been going on with the budget cuts, with tax cuts. ..."  (Dana Milbank, MSNBC Live with Cenk Uygur, 6/23/11)

Democrats Bailed on President Obama and His Call for a Clean Debt-Ceiling Vote.  "The House on Tuesday voted to reject a bill that would let the heavily indebted U.S. government borrow more money without any strings attached. ... The president has asked Congress to raise the so-called debt ceiling in a "clean" vote that includes no other conditions. The vote was 97 to 318, with 82 Democrats joining 236 Republicans in voting against the move."  (Jeffry Bartash, "Congres rejects 'clean' U.S. debt ceiling hike," Wall Street Journal's Market Watch, 5/31/11)

Some Democrats Favor Tax Increases.  "Senator Bernie Sanders says it's critical to include tax increases as part of a package to reduce the nation's debt. House Republican leaders say they'll strongly oppose any plan that includes tax hikes and Sanders is urging President Obama and the Democrats to stand up to the Republicans on this issue."  (Bob Kinzel, "To Cut Debt, Sanders Says Raise Taxes," Vermont Public Radio, 6/23/11) 

One Democrat Thinks Obama and Biden Shouldn't Raise Taxes and Need to Just "Be Quiet."  "Members of Oklahoma's congressional delegation on Tuesday flatly rejected separate suggestions from an unlikely duo - President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner - to kill or at least review tax breaks for oil companies. Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Boren said Obama just needs to be quiet."  (Jim Myers, "Oil tax breaks needed, Congress members say," Tulsa World, 4/27/11)

Other Democrats Have Fought All Along for Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy.  "[Dem Rep. Heath] Shuler expects to vote for policies that support the textile industry and other industries in rural North Carolina. He anticipates agreeing with Republicans on tax reform - 'make the tax structure less cumbersome, lower taxes on small businesses.' All three indicated early on their willingness to support President Barack Obama's tax cut compromise with Republicans, a package that infuriated many of their liberal brethren."  (Barbara Barrett, "Can Blue Dog Democrats survive the 112th Congress?," McClatchy Newspapers, 1/2/11)

And Yet Other Democrats Are Calling for More Failed Stimulus Spending.  "Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday called on Vice President Joe Biden to include new economic stimulus spending in deficit-reduction talks as a way of lowering the 9.1 percent jobless rate that is hobbling the economic recovery."  (Richard Cowan, "Senate Democrats seek new economic stimulus," Reuters, 6/22/11)

Talks Are Crumbling, Skeptics Surfacing

Biden is Skipping Town When Crucial Budget Talks Have "Effectively Collapsed."  "The White House said Thursday that President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner may have to intervene to salvage the bipartisan budget talks that effectively collapsed after the two Republican negotiators pulled out."  ("Obama Press to 'Resolve' Tax Hike Dispute as Budget Talks Collapse," Fox News, 6/23/11)

A Majority of Democratic Lawmakers Doubt the Debt Talks Will Meet Their Target Before the July 4th Recess.  "Despite the self-imposed deadline of July 1 set by the bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Vice President Joe Biden to craft a deficit-reduction plan, a majority of Democratic and Republican Members of Congress doubt that target will be met for the holiday weekend, according to this week's National Journal Congressional Insiders Poll. [Dems "No" 52%]."  (James A. Barnes and Peter Bell, "Congressional Insiders Skeptical that Biden Group Will Meet Deadline," National Journal, 6/23/11)

  • Even Dems Who Think a Deal is Possible "Are Skeptical" That They Will Meet Their Deadline.  "Even Democratic Insiders, who believe that a deal is possible by the time of the July 4 weekend, are skeptical that the Congress, particularly the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, will sign off on an agreement drafted by the bipartisan group."  (James A. Barnes and Peter Bell, "Congressional Insiders Skeptical that Biden Group Will Meet Deadline," National Journal, 6/23/11)

Meanwhile U.S. Debt Continues to Skyrocket

CBO: Debt Could Eclipse the Entire US Economy in 10 Years.  "The Congressional Budget Office reported Wednesday that the nation probably will owe outside creditors more than the size of the entire economy in 10 years.  The forecast -- a public debt equal to 101% of the economy in 2021, and rising to 187% by 2035 unless dramatic changes are made -- should be a warning to President Obama, Congress and Vice President Biden's band of bipartisan negotiators meeting daily to devise just a short-term fix."  (Richard Wolf, "Obama, Congress warned: National debt growing faster," USA Today, 6/22/11)

Since taking office, the national debt under President Obama has gone from $11.9 trillion to $14.3 trillion - a $2.4 trillion increase.  (Office of Management and Budget Historical Tables, "Federal Debt at the End of Year: 1940-2016," Table 7.1, Accessed 6/23/11)

Democrats Are More Concerned About Filling Campaign Coffers Than American Job Rolls

Obama "Under Fire" from Good Government Advocates for Fundraising Activities.  "A meeting President Barack Obama hosted in the White House for his key political backers from Wall Street is under fire from good government advocates and a Bush administration ethics official who say the session appeared to bring activity related to campaign fundraising onto White House grounds."  (Josh Gerstein, "Donor meeting at White House draws fire," Politico, 6/20/11)

Obama & Biden Have Headlined More Than 35 Democratic Fundraisers Since the Start of the Year.  "The White House says President Obama isn't focused on his reelection campaign, but tonight [Monday, June 20, 2011] he will headline his 29th and 30th fundraisers for the year. ... At the same point in former President George W. Bush's reelection cycle, he had done only three fundraisers. ..." [CBS News' Mark] Knoller said.  (Julie Mason, "Obama's 30th fundraiser tonight," Politico, 6/20/11)